Residents in Grand Rapids, Michigan may have an extra hurdle to jump through when they’re renting out a room in their house. That’s because the city is imposing a special land use and business license to legitimately rent out a room in their house.
It’s not surprising that the city is imposing these sanctions against homeowners. That’s because homeowners are using sites like AirBnB to advertise their spare room for vacationers or short term tenants.
These transactions compete directly in the hotel and B&B space, which is why legitimate hotel business owners want to crack down on folks using AirBnB to rent out their spare room.
For “live-in landlords” it’s different. We’re not competing in the hotel space. What we’re looking for are long-term renters or at least that’s what I’m looking for.
RENTING OUT A ROOM IS NOT AirBnB
At Fincon, when I introduced myself as someone who rents out rooms so that I can improve my personal finances with the rental income, they immediately thought of AirBnB.
Yes, it’s true that AirBnB can be a great way to rent out a room, but that’s not me. I’m looking for long-term renters. Given the short-term duration or high turn over rate of an AirBnB tenants, it’s not something “live-in landlords” should use consistently to rent out their spare room. I’ve never advertised my spare rooms on AirBnB nor do I plan to.
My ideal scenario is to find a roommate that is looking for a place to live for at least 3 to 6 months. The longer, the better as it reduces the time commitment to find and screen a new roommate.
Does this sound like it competes with the hotel industry?
It’s incorrect that “live-in landlords” need a license to rent out a room. We’re not in the hotel business catering to vacationers. We’re offering a place to live not a place to visit.
photo credit: philcampbell